Helbrunn Castle – an ancient palace complex in Salzburg

Many rightly perceive Austria as a treasury of architectural attractions. Ancient castles, graceful houses have pleased tourists for many centuries. Of particular interest is the castle of Helbrunn. The main feature of the castle complex is that it was possible to preserve the original furniture, decor elements, and decoration. A unique detail of the castle is the wall, ceiling frescoes decorating the hall for guests; cultural events are held here. What other surprises did the old palace have prepared? Believe me, there are plenty of them here.

Helbrunn Castle, Salzburg

General information about the Helbrunn Castle in Salzburg

Apparently, the owner of the castle was very fond of water. Otherwise, how to explain the fact that the park surrounding the attraction is filled with fountains and artificial ponds. However, this is not the only feature of the attraction, built at the foot of the Alps.

According to tourists and experts in the field of architecture, the Helbrunn Palace in Salzburg is an art in its pure manifestation, this statement applies to the exterior design of the building and interior decoration. The park zone was created for three years – here you can relax near lakes, ponds, visit amazing grottoes, caves and admire fountains.

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Interesting fact! The jets of water that may appear in the most unexpected place and at an unexpected time are called Fun Fountains. Thanks to this wonderful entertainment, the castle has become a favorite vacation spot for the entire imperial family.

Helbrunn Castle Fountains

However, the popularity of the palace in Salzburg over the centuries has not changed. Under the streams of fountains, children and adults bathe with pleasure. The fun of the fountains is that they all look like ordinary statues or sculptures, from which water jets periodically beat, and immediately disappear. Sometimes, tourists do not even understand where the water came from. There are similar amusing fountains in Peterhof.

Historical reference
Archbishop of Salzburg Marcus von Hohenms
Marcus von Hohenms

The Archbishop of Salzburg, Marcus von Hohenms, decided to build his own summer residence next to Mount Helbrunn. The castle was built over seven years – from 1612 to 1619. In childhood, Marcus and his uncle were sent to Italy, where he studied law. It was in Italy that Marcus enjoyed Italian architecture, cracker fountains and sculptural compositions. That is why the palace project is made in the style of the late Renaissance, the appearance resembles the famous sights of Rome, Venice. Many historians, architects note that the castle is the embodiment of the best traditions of Italian mannerism.

Fountains in the park

In the 17th century, a wonderful park opened near Salzburg, where people came to relax and have fun. It was believed that water in fountains, artificial reservoirs helped to find a sense of harmony and balance, revitalize feelings. During the Enlightenment, interest in fountains and sculptures was lost, the park was called mediocre and worthless. However, today the attraction is again visited by millions of tourists, because the castle still presents unexpected surprises.

Today the castle of Helbrunn is one of the best buildings of the late Renaissance period. However, with external luxury, the archbishop’s apartments are concise and fairly simple. Their main feature is that there is no sleeping place in them, since Marcus Zittikus himself, as well as all his heirs did not stay overnight in the castle, but spent only in the afternoon.

Inside the castle of Helbrunn

In 1730, the park part was reconstructed, the author of the project was Franz Anton Danreiter, who served as the inspector of the palace gardens. He managed to save all the sculptural compositions, the general concept of the design of the garden. However, Danreiter used many additional details in the Rococo style. The mechanical theater was built in the park in 1750.

What to see on the territory

Helbrunn Castle in Salzburg is a palace complex, which consists of several parts.

Castle formerly owned by the Prince Archbishop

Built in the 17th century and today receives guests in its original form. The palace is located in the northwestern part of the park. This is a project by Italian architect Santino Solari. A wide alley is laid to the main entrance. The facade is decorated with golden paint and decorated with sandriks. An attic is located above the main entrance. Be sure to visit the guest room, decorated with frescoes, as well as octagonal apartments with a dome, previously the room was used as a music lounge. In the palace rooms, furnaces decorated with tiles and images of mythical animals are still preserved.

Helbrunn Castle
A park decorated with ponds, various fountains, sculptures, pavilions

Marcus Zittikus, the first owner of the castle, had an unconventional sense of humor. He was very fond of jokes. According to the owner, Helbrunn was supposed to be a venue for fun holidays and cultural events. Inside Mount Helbrunn, sources were discovered through which Hohenems realized his idea. Throughout the park, and this is more than 60 hectares, there are amusing fountains – water sources hidden underground and artfully decorated. Helbrunn Park is unique in that the main element here is not plants, as is customary, but water.

Park decorated with ponds

Good to know! Next to each amusing fountain there is one dry place intended for the bishop, on which today guides are located.

For the historical period when the castle was built, strict geometry and clear lines are characteristic. However, in the case of Helburn in Salzburg, its creators proceeded from the peculiarities of the landscape – where springs came to the surface, fountains were built, and streams were sent to dry channels. The park also has a pond of a regular, rectangular shape, in the middle of it there is an island of rectangular shape, two bridges lead to it.

Stone countertop

In the palace park, a stone tabletop has been preserved, in the center of which a bowl is arranged. Wine was poured into it during feasts and ritual events. When the castle was owned by Marcus Zittikus, various animals were kept in the park – deer, goats, rare birds and exotic fish.

Mountshloss Castle
Mountshloss Castle

Translated means “castle of the month.” The building seems like a toy, but it was named so because the construction was completed in record time – 30 days. The attraction in Salzburg was built in 1615, the first name is Waldems. According to one legend, the idea of ​​building a castle was suggested by the Bavarian prince, who was visiting the archbishop. Looking at the view from the window, he suggested that the view would have been much more picturesque if there had been a small castle on the hill. After only 30 days, when the prince came to the archbishop again, a palace really appeared on the hill.

Interesting fact! Since 1924, a branch of the Salzburg Museum of Karl August has been located in Mountschloss Castle. The collection contains Austrian costumes, crafts, crafts, household items.

Stone Theater – the oldest in Europe

The scene was built in the open, in the crevice of Mount Helbrunn. The attraction dates back to 1617, it was then that the first opera took place on the stage of the theater. Today, you can also visit various performances.

Stone theater
Mechanical theater

This is the only such institution that survived in Western Europe. The first such theater appeared in Italy, but even there they were not preserved. The entertainment is located in a cozy corner of the park, where the blacksmith grotto used to be located. 256 wooden dolls mounted on a den made of stone perform for guests. Dolls move under the influence of water and to the sounds of an organ. The performance in the stone theater shows the audience the life of past centuries, people of different ancient professions.

Mechanical theater

Interesting fact! Admirers of organ music will be interested to visit the Cathedral in Salzburg, where an organ with 4000 pipes is located.

If we talk about the unusual details of the palace complex, you must definitely mention the Salzburg Zoo, which has been in the castle since 1961. Here tourists from different countries, children and adults love to relax.

Salzburg Zoo

Practical information

Flight number 170

You can get to the palace complex by bus. Flight No. 170 follows from the Salzburg Makartplatz stop (next to Mirabell Castle). You need to go to the stop Salzburg Alpenstraße / Abzw Hellbrunn. The road takes a quarter of an hour (8 stops).

You can also take bus number 25 from the Salzburg Hbf stop, and in the warm season (from mid-spring to mid-autumn) a panoramic ship runs. Read more about the schedule, ticket prices on the official website: www.salzburghighlights.at.

Important! If you are traveling by car, follow the B150.

The address of the palace and park complex Helbrunn: Fürstenweg 37, 5020 Salzburg.


  • April and October – from 9-00 to 16-30;
  • May, June and September – from 9-00 to 17-30;
  • July and August – from 9-00 to 18-00 (at this time additional tours are held for travelers – from 18-00 to 21-00).

At other times, the attraction is closed to visitors.

Duration of the tour: 40 minutes.

Ticket price:

Salzburg card
  • full – 12.50 €;
  • for visitors aged 19 to 26 years – 8.00 €;
  • children (from 4 to 18 years old) – 5.50 €;
  • family (two full and one for children) – 26.50 €.

Holders of the Salzburg Card can visit the attraction for free.

Important! A ticket gives you the right to visit the castle, amusing fountains, a folklore museum and use an audio guide.

Detailed information about the palace complex is available on the official website: www.hellbrunn.at.

Prices on the page are for February 2019.

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Useful Tips

Deer head fountain
  1. Tickets can be purchased online on the castle’s official website. The cost is the same as at the box office, but you do not have to stand in line.
  2. Be prepared that water will pour on you at the most unexpected moment. Take care of gadgets.
  3. Tours are conducted in English and German.
  4. There is a playground in the park, where not only children, but also adults spend their time with pleasure.
  5. A festive fair is held during the Christmas season.
  6. Be sure to visit the zoo.

Helbrunn Castle is a must-see attraction. Take the time to explore the palace and the park, because this complex has become a symbol not only of Salzburg, but also of Austria.

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